U.S. Senators Roger Wicker and Cindy Hyde-Smith, and Congressman Steven Palazzo praised the award of a multi-year procurement contract worth more than $5.1 billion for the construction of six DDG-51 Flight III Destroyers at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer informed members of the Mississippi congressional delegation of the Navy contract to Huntington Ingalls Inc. to produce six Arleigh Burke-class destroyers at its Pascagoula shipyard.
Wicker stated that this contract will continue to supply the Navy with the best ships that Mississippi can build.
“The Flight III Destroyer program is a critical part of nation’s need for a larger Navy fleet,” Wicker said. “As Chairman of the Seapower Subcommittee, I spearheaded congressional authorization for this multi-ship contract. Building ships through a long-term contract will stabilize production at the yards, support the supplier industrial base, and save taxpayer money. I am confident that Ingalls Shipbuilding – home of the world’s finest shipbuilders – will continue its exceptional track record and help bring the Navy closer to the 355-ship fleet mandated by my SHIPS Act.”
Echoing Wicker’s statement, Hyde-Smith looks forward to Mississippi’s role in the strengthing of the U.S. Military.
“Modernizing the U.S. Navy is a key component of rebuilding our military. This contract underscores the significant role our Mississippi shipbuilders have in achieving that goal,” said Hyde-Smith. “This contract is a testament to the Senate Appropriations Committee’s focus of increased funding for the Defense Department. I am committed to working with my colleagues in continuing that work.”
Palazzo, a coast native, knows the impact that this contract will have and wants to the troops to know that Mississippi supports them.
“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve worked to ensure we are fully supporting our troops by fulfilling our promise to strengthen our military. Ensuring our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need to complete their mission and return home safely to their loved ones remains my top priority,” said Palazzo. “In south Mississippi, we have the best shipbuilders, who build the best ships, for the best military in the world. Today’s announcement is a victory for south Mississippi and our Navy.”
The award is a multi-year, fixed-price incentive contract over fiscal years 2018 through 2022. Two ships would be built in FY 2018 and one each would be built in FY 2019 through 2022. The contract is worth a total of $5,104,668,778, with options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of the contract to $5,253,076,779.
The contracts are the result of defense authorization and appropriations supported by Wicker, Hyde-Smith, and Palazzo.
Wicker, in his role as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower, introduced legislation last year that made it the official policy of the United States to achieve the Navy’s minimum requirement for 355 ships.
President Trump signed that legislation into law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA included authorization for the Navy to purchase the ships Wicker, Hyde-Smith, and Palazzo announced.